Gonzalez eyeing weekend for return to mound

Gonzalez eyeing weekend for return to mound

ARLINGTON -- Miguel Gonzalez got favorable results from Wednesday's MRI, and the right-hander is hoping he can avoid the disabled list and start at some point this weekend.

Gonzalez's results were negative for any serious injury and showing just some swelling and perhaps a slight pull in his oblique and abdominal area. Gonzalez, who was scratched from Thursday's start, will play catch on Friday and said the next 24 hours are very important in determining if he will land on the DL.

Manager Buck Showalter said Gonzalez is an "outside" chance to pitch on Saturday, and the club will recall Kevin Gausman from Triple-A Norfolk just in case. T.J. McFarland is another option to get the start.

"Until he puts a ball in his hand and throws, it's just impossible to handicap it," Showalter said of Gonzalez's chances this weekend. "He'd have to really go, 'Gosh I feel nothing. This feels great,' to be a candidate for Saturday. But how do you know he's going to come in the next day and feel the same? You can't have a starter spit the bit in the first inning and then have to cover eight more innings."

Gonzalez, who last pitched on Friday, estimated he's about 90 percent and obviously wants to avoid the DL if possible. He has thrown four consecutive quality starts for the Orioles and his DL stay would be backdated to his last start.

"We're not sure if I'm going to be able to throw Saturday. But based on what I feel today and what I was feeling earlier, I think it's a lot better," Gonzalez said Thursday. "Maybe I make the start Saturday or Sunday. I don't know. Definitely, I'm not thinking about going on the DL. That's for sure."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.